Saturday, March 17, 2007

Batch Size

James La Trobe-Bateman asks:
When Should You Live with Your Batch Size?

Having just discovered James and his writings today, I am not sure what to think. But I will investigate further. He credits Eli Goldratt and the Theory of Constraints (TOC). That is refreshing. And very welcome.

This article covers a lot of the thought process that one should undertake when approaching the concept of batch sizing. Allow me to add two more trains of thought:
  • Systems Thinking
  • Marketing Think
Systems Thinking

It is important to start any evaluation with the end in mind. In business, that requires a closer look at the goals and/or mission statement for the entity in question. James touches on this fact. I however, stand up and shout about it. Often (too often) someone will post a query to a newsgroup or blog seeking wisdom from the elders or "keepers of the faith" on a particular subject matter. Most often, members of the group will respond. That is great, but rarely helpful.

Until one understands the goals for which the entity strives to meet, there are no answers. Good or bad. Just random (well meaning) advice. Maybe that is why we oft hear the expression, "you get what you pay for." Systems Thinking starts with an appreciation for the goal.

Marketing Think

As good as TOC is, and it provides the "missing link" for most business analysis, as it provides a series of tools to determine the leverage point (or, as I like to say, the weakest link) in a system where effort must be applied in order to produce breakthroughs. I recall in TQM how we empowered teams to set about improving everything, hence valuable resources were wasted and often, few tangible bottom line results could be documented. But I digress...

Enter stage right: Col. John Boyd and his OODA Loop. Observe, Orient, Decide and Act. Faster than the competition. Repeat. Get inside your competitor's loop. Bounce between the four pillars as needed. As Chet Richards points out, there is no need to cycle through the loop "in order." Business seldom offers order. Marketing plans drafted in a vacuum rarely change the rules... but it is he that makes the rules, that wins.

In conclusion

Take Goldratt's three pillars of "What to change; What to change to; How to cause the change" and add Boyd's OODA Loop to execute your strategy and tactics faster than anyone else to arrive at what some might call, "and unfair advantage!"

That would be my additional thoughts on determining the proper batch size.

Knowing that conditions will change. Quickly.

Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey, Jonah

P.S. To fully appreciate the Logical Thinking Processes, consider this Jonah link.

(c)Copyright 2007, Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey.
All rights reserved.
blog comments powered by Disqus